Donate in Peace

donateGive, give, give.  Donate, donate, donate.  Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer.  More, more, more!  Seems like everybody wants more all the time.  Part of me can’t blame them because everyone needs more, but then part of me says everyone needs more so quityourbitching!

Where does this come from you might ask?  Well, it started when I gave my first donation to the American Cancer Society a couple of years ago.  It wasn’t much and still continues to be a measly donation, but I donate anyway.  Why?  Because shortly after I got myself a Facebook page, I started connecting with high school classmates since that’s what it’s there for!  I graduated from a small rural town where the TOTAL number of students in grades 7-12 was less than 500.  My class happened to be one of the largest in the high school.  We had 90 some kids and I think we graduated 87.  Anyway, 2 of my fellow female classmates have been diagnosed with breast cancer in their mid 20’s.  What are the odds that my classmates from such a rural area would get cancer at such young ages?  So, I decided I could join the fight.

Since I have joined that fight and chose the American Cancer Society to go through, it seems like EVERYONE wants me to join their fight too!  The first year I think I only got 1 call to donate to another cause, but last year that number grew and now this year it’s more people.  And the thing that irks me the most?  A mere 24 hours after I made my donation to ACS, I was getting calls.  24 hours!  MS called, MN police officer’s called, another cancer cause called.  Then, I get something in the mail from the humane society!  All the while I’m thinking, wasn’t my name NOT going to be shared with everyone???

Why if you donate one place it seems like your name goes everywhere?!  It’s like they slap your name and phone number with a “SUCKER” sign!  “Hey guys, call so and so because we got $$ out of her!”  Ugh!  Let me donate where I want to without you calling me thank you very much.  I’ll continue to put up with it because I understand that programs like these don’t work without donations and I or someone in my family may need their help someday.   I just wish we could all donate in peace!

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19 Responses to Donate in Peace

  1. Joy says:

    You know Sue, I’m so glad you wrote this. I had this on one of my many lists laying around here of things to write about. This irks me to no end.

    I donate to the few I can. We can’t donate money to everyone that calls. I know that I will never donate to the Mayo Clinic again. One time gets us mail and I’m talking EXPENSIVE flyers and brochures. Why do they waste the money on that stuff?? It’s got to really cost a lot of money. When I donate, I like to know my money is going for a good cause and not for advertising. That irks me!

    Another thing, I get calls here from the Mpls fire and police dept wanting me to donate to their balls and parties. I don’t even live in Mpls. Why in the world would I want to do that? I’ll give my money to my own fire and police dept.

    One more thing. What is the “do not call list?” I’ve put my number there but I get every kind of cancer calls and abuse hotline calls and everyone who wants money calls. If I gave everyone who called me money, I’d be homeless yet I still feel bad telling them I’m not interested and hanging up.

    Great topic.

    • Laura says:

      The ‘Do Not Call’ list conveniently exempts charities and political parties (!!!) from being blocked. You can, however, tell a charity – or anyone else who calls, for that matter – to remove you from their list. Most will do it immediately and without argument.

      Each Christmas, for a couple of years, I donated to Wounded Warriors for my dad. I quit giving to them when they started sending me, about once a month, big envelopes full of “gifts” – sometimes it was a pad of paper, sometimes a sticker, or a pen – along with a specialized stamp to use to send the donation back! They were sending me *money* (in the form of a stamp – first class, mind you) to get me to send them money! Ridiculous.

      My favorite, though, is the political parties. They keep trying to weasel you around “No”…. I shut them down VERY quickly with, “Right now, you have the most valuable thing I can give you… my vote. You ask me again, and that will be gone.”

      It shuts them down RIGHT NOW!!

  2. SKL says:

    You might want to donate anonymously to avoid all this crap.

    I only donate to a few organizations that I am close to, so I don’t get a lot of solicitations. But my friend, who recently decided to “step up her giving,” gets multiple solicitations in the mail daily. They each bank on getting like $25 from each person. It’s really stupid when you think about it – not much bang for the buck once you subtract out all the time and expense that goes into the solicitation (keeping in mind that many people will just use the cute address labels and throw the return envelope in the garbage). And you have to keep soliciting the same people over and over, using a new sob story each time, because they really aren’t committed – just guilted for the moment. I don’t want to give my money to an organization so they can use it on solicitations. In my view, there are better ways to develop true “friends of the organization” who will give significant time and money that can actually benefit the intended beneficiaries.

    Many charities really are businesses, who have lost sight of their true mission. They have a marketing staff, PR people, and advocates all over the place, who would become irrelevant if the original goal of the organization were actually met. There is more in it for them if they prolong the agony. I know they don’t consciously think of it that way, but that’s the reality of it. I’ve been on charitable boards and watched some of them really go adrift. Always keep in mind what’s best for the individuals you’re hoping to help, and look for (or found) an organization that hasn’t lost sight of that.

  3. pammy wammy says:

    I donate to two causes every year.One is to cancer,which comes in the mail,and I send what i can afford.My mom died of cancer and therefore I donate to that.Sometimes in our stores,you buy a teddy bear and some of the proceeds go to caner care,I will buy a bear.The second cause I donate too is the Heart and Stroke foundation.My dad died of a massive heart attack,so I also donate to that.
    I do recieve alot of calls,but i just say I have my charities I donate too and cant afford anymore.
    But at times it is too much with calls.

  4. nikki says:

    I get the police dept every once in a while. That’s it really when it comes to them calling me. I get stuff in the mail all the time though. Jason set it up to where we automatically donate every year. I think it comes right out of or account if I’m not mistaken. Right now we only donate to the Gillettes Children’s Hospital.
    I would be annoyed too if they were all calling us as much as they are calling you. Maybe donating anonymously is a good option.
    I wish we could donate to everyone in need of it…that’s just not realistic. If we did that…we would need some donations!!!

  5. Gary says:

    Getting phone calls and things in the mail just comes with the territory of donating. If awareness isin’t made then people will forget to donate or not donate because they didn’t know the organization exsisted. It’s kind of a pain in the butt getting phone calls and mailings and such but at the same time I understand why they do.

  6. mssc54 says:

    When you donate to one agency they form a data base of all of their donars. Typically (to generate mor $$$) they then sell their data base to other agencies.

    It’s an all to comon practice in the industry.

    As for phone solicitations check this out. But go to the bathroom first so you don’t wet your pants laughing.

  7. javajunkee says:

    well we have one in town thrown in our face all the time because some locals are working with a nationally known organization. It’s water for Africa. Good cause I am sure just as a lot of causes are..but sick of hearing about it all the time. Promotions, news articles, radio and even tv…to me when locals get involved and continually yammer on about it …that takes away from the good they are doing and it says..”Look at US”
    I am not saying Africa is not important..but so are a lot of people in america who don’t have access to clean water. They are even painting symbols on their driveways to help raise money. I don’t know at some point enough is enough. When some of these people walk right past people somewhere that they know are fighting cancer or losing their home and yet ….ohhhh water water water to me there is something wrong.
    Sorry that is a sore spot with me. I think all of us have our “organizations” we give to and there are more than ample advertisements that if we want to give to ..we all know how to find them.
    Good post!

    • Laura says:

      I hate to say it, but I’m getting that way with all this Breast Cancer stuff. I’m SICK and tired of PINK!!! Can’t wait for November when it stops. You’re right… the cause is important, and awareness is important, but enough already!

    • Sue says:

      Oh, you make a good point JJ! I, too, cannot figure out how people are so insanely obsessed with another country’s problems when we have the same problems here! There are starving children HERE, there is homelessness HERE, there is poverty HERE, and yet they still think it’s worse somewhere else.

      • javajunkee says:

        exactly and God forbid you aren’t on the bandwagon..cuz then you can get called a racist. Uh no….there will be no more brownie points in heaven for helping africa than there is for helping the starving and/or orphans here in america! Sometimes I think it’s the brownie points they are getting here on earth that keeps them going although they will argue that point. A symbol in your driveway says nothing short of “look at me”!

  8. mssc54 says:

    Let’s try this again.

  9. Karen Joy says:

    I put us on the DO NOT CALL LIST and it seems to work,we never get any calls anymore!!Doing the Happy Dance!!
    I used to tell them if I want to donate to your cause I know where to find you….then Id hang up.I give only where I know where my money is going for sure…local.

  10. Sue says:

    The other funny thing is that when I told ACS I would donate, please send the card in the mail, they were on top of that like yesterday. But, being busy and stuff I didn’t send in my donation at the first card. Or the second. Or the third! Bad, I know, but I always thought I’d do it tomorrow, get it in the mail tomorrow. Finally I donated online and I haven’t received a reminder card to send my money again!

  11. Tessa says:

    Sue, you make a really good point. That is crazy. This happened to me after just signing up with a ministry (Joyce Myers). They kept asking for money for awhile. Donating, volunteering is great and needed, but ask only once please! Or not at all. We all know where to go if we want to give.

    I prefer to give through donations and volunteering. Then, I know it is useful. I don’t trust they will do good with my money always. And I REALLY do not understand how Breast Cancer and other similar organizations have millions of dollars and still have no cure….it is suspicious to me. How many tests, experiments, and labs can they do in such a short time?

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